68% of 12-17 year-olds have tried alcohol

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Research by local alcohol awareness project Drink Think has identified that 68% of 12-17 year-olds have tried alcohol.

A study by the project also revealed that some young people started drinking as young as 11 years old and more than half (52%) of the young people who consumed alcohol did so at least once a week. There was also evidence of excessive alcohol consumption across all age ranges.

The project is now working with Parenting NI to undertake a study of parental influences on young people’s drinking in the Derry area.

Campaigns co-ordinator, Claire Robinson, said: “Research indicates that parents may have more of an influence over their child’s drinking than they realise. “Some parents may feel that giving their teenager a small amount of alcohol in their early teens will give them a responsible attitude to alcohol, but there is no scientific evidence to support this.

“In fact, it has been shown that, the earlier a child starts drinking, the higher his or her risk of serious alcohol related problems later in life.”

Research carried out by Drink Think shows many under 18’s will drink alcohol, either with the permission of their parents or by obtaining alcohol from friends, relatives or by asking other adults to buy drink for them.

They also identified that some young people began drinking as young as 11 and over half (52%) of the young people who consumed alcohol did so at least once a week. There was also evidence of excessive alcohol consumption across all age ranges.

The local alcohol awareness project is now working with Parenting NI to undertake a study of parental influences on young people’s drinking in the Derry area.

Parenting NI are a charity which supports parents through a free telephone helpline and counselling service, parenting education as well as lobbying on issues that are important to parents.

Parenting NI are inviting parents of 12 – 17 year olds living in the Cityside, Waterside and rural areas of Derry to take part in a short anonymous online survey.

The survey can be found at http://drinkthink.questionpro.com and the closing date for responses is Sunday 31st May 2015. The Drink Think Project is an alcohol awareness project based in Derry with the aim of encouraging the people of Derry to adopt a sensible and responsible relationship with alcohol by working with families, alcohol retailers, workplaces and the general public in new and challenging ways, to promote a cultural change to alcohol misuse.

For any further information, please contact Claire Robinson at the Drink Think Project on (028) 7136 3925 or Clare-Anne Magee at Parenting NI on 028 9031 0891.